Mauricio Pochettino was thrilled to bring Giovani Lo Celso to Tottenham, but the Argentine midfielder hasn’t earned Jose Mourinho’s trust.
There will inevitably turn out to be significant differences between the group of Tottenham players that Mauricio Pochettino liked and the ones who will be fancied by Jose Mourinho. It’s looking increasingly like Giovani Lo Celso may emerge as the first casualty related to Spurs’ managerial transition.
Mourinho’s recent comments about the Argentine midfielder were hardly inspiring. According to The Daily Mirror, the Portuguese gaffer claims it is “impossible” to know when Lo Celso might be up to the standard required to start for Tottenham. That’s not a ringing endorsement for a player who was billed as a future start in the heart of the club’s midfield when he arrived from Real Betis this summer.
Clearly there’s still time for Lo Celso to turn things around. He’s got the better part of the season remaining before Tottenham will be in any position to make long-term decisions about his future. It’s important to note that Spurs will be required to complete his purchase from Betis if they’re able to achieve Champions League qualification. That might look unlikely at the moment, but it’s a clear and obvious goal for Mourinho this season.
If Lo Celso is going to turn things around, he’ll need to improve his physicality. It’s obvious to everyone that he isn’t quite ready for the speed required to flourish in the Premier League. His struggles with injury have played a part in his uneven transition to England. He needs to get fit and sharp quickly if he’s going to force his way into Mourinho’s squad.
The Special One isn’t going to give Lo Celso unlimited chances to make an impression though. If February arrives without a significant change for the young Argentine it’s very possible he’ll be frozen out of the squad entirely. That could force Spurs to take a substantial loss when selling him this summer.
It’s in Tottenham’s best interest as a club to make things work with Lo Celso, but he’s quickly running out of time at Spurs. If things don’t turn around for him quickly, he won’t last under Mourinho.